Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Whose best interests?
In January, Sen. Stevens attached a Tongass rider to the federal spending bill which transcends environmental concerns. The rider states the Tongass wilderness plan "shall not be reviewed under any Forest Service administrative appeal process, and its adequacy shall not be subject to judicial review by any court of the United States."

Out-of-step senators
Sen. Stevens' recent backdoor congressional action to impose time limits on filing appeals and court decisions on Tongass timber sales is just one more attempt to limit the options concerned citizens have in challenging timber companies and the Forest Service when they move to log the remaining wildlands of the Tongass. This is - at the very least - undemocratic, and it should be criminal.

Working together
Today I read Jack Cadigan's My Turn and agree with him in a lot of aspects. After having spoken with a good friend of mine that owns a local art supply store, she laid out some heavy facts.

Let's get organized!
After reading the article in the Juneau Empire about Whittier being "reopened" to cruise ships once they had rescinded their head tax, I once again realized the drastic need for change in Alaska. All the communities in Alaska that are part of the cruise ship itinerary need to unite.

Photo: Goldstein's Emporium, 1935
Triangle Corner, shown here in 1935, featured the department store Goldstein's Emporium. The builder, Charles Goldstein, first came to Juneau from San Francisco in May 1885. He opened the emporium's doors on Oct. 12, 1914.

Photo: A-J Mill, 1920
The Alaska-Juneau Gold Mining Company Mill, seen here in a photograph circa 1920, was constructed in 1916. The mine prospered until World War II, when many workers left for war or related projects. The mine closed in 1944.

Seely Hall: Strictly an artist of Alaska
When Seely Hall first came to Alaska on vacation in 1949, he was working as a banker for the California National Bank in Palo Alto, Calif. "I came up here when it was like Alaska," said Hall. "So that did it." Since then, Hall has lived in Anchorage, Seward, Sitka and Juneau. He worked for First National Bank for 38 years before retiring in 1987.

Assembly postpones decision on skateboard ban
The Juneau Assembly voted Monday night to table a proposed change to a city ordinance that would have banned skateboarding in Marine Park, the last legal skateboarding spot in downtown Juneau. "We need to bring the skateboarders back to the drawing board and really take a look at what we need to do to bring the user groups together with others," said Assembly member Jim Powell. "I actually think it's a great opportunity for this community to make the downtown more of a residential area."

This Day in History
In 1959, a California aircraft engineer proposed building a hole in Mt. McKinley to make a "gun barrel for launching space vehicles."

Around Town
Around Town is a listing of local nonprofit events.

Crash survivors airlifted to Juneau
Two survivors of a weekend plane crash near Gustavus that left four people missing are out of the hospital after being treated for minor injuries. Khyl Shummway, 22, was treated for minor bruises and exposure at Bartlett Regional Hospital, said Marijo Toner, a spokeswoman for the hospital. Benjamin Gunn, 25, suffered from hypothermia, a gash to his right leg and a bruise above his eye. Both victims were released at about 3:15 p.m. Monday The plane's pilot, Gary Ostler, and his son, Christopher Ostler, 18, both of Salt Lake City, and the pilot's brothers-in-law, Gordon and Adam Moses, of Lindon, Utah, are missing. Shummway and Gunn are Gary Ostler's sons-in-law.

This Day in History
In 1721, John Douglas, for whom Douglas Island near Juneau was named, was born in Scotland.

Police and Fire
Juneau police, fire officials and state troopers reported:

Children's Home Remembered
It sounds like a Louisa May Alcott novel: A devout Christian husband and wife open their home and their hearts to take in a few abandoned children. Money is tight, but no one is ever turned away, even if it means some of the boys have to sleep in a tent in the back yard. The story isn't set in Civil War-era Massachusetts, but in Juneau, with a 70-year time span.

Police and Fire
Juneau police, fire officials and state troopers reported:

New director takes charge of chamber
The new executive director for the Juneau Chamber of Commerce, who helped establish a bottled water company in Sitka, has spent most of the last year and a half in Southern California marketing products in movies such as Jackie Chan's "The Tuxedo" and MTV's "The Real World." Todd Saunders, 41, began his first day of work with the chamber on Monday, replacing Jamie Parsons. Parsons resigned from the position earlier this year to move to Cairo, Egypt, with his wife Mary Beth, who accepted a two-year teaching position there.

Around Town
Around Town is a listing of local nonprofit events.

Susan Wilhite Fair
Former Juneau resident, Susan Wilhite Fair, 54, died June 1, 2003, at her home in Tucson, Ariz.

Vernon Akin
Juneau resident Vernon Akin, 83, died July 10, 2003, surrounded by his family after a long illness.

Intent is key to finding truth
Some time ago I came to an important conclusion: One does not have to be a lawyer to understand the U.S. Constitution if one is honestly exploring for truth. For every document, we need to understand what the intent was for its conception. One of the things I have tried to do in my study of the Constitution was to keep some of those fundamental principles the founders had pretty much the center of attention.

My Turn: Time to focus on the positive
The Legislature has been criticized in the media for not doing its job this year. The House minority leader has, in articles published across the state, called the session a "fiasco." I strongly disagree. I am proud of my House colleagues for our accomplishments and some truly historic acts. It was the most difficult and arduous session I have experienced. The Legislature, together with our new governor, Frank Murkowski, worked long and hard to make tough decisions in order to change our state's direction.

My Turn: Dividend is not a handout
It is clear the Alaska Permanent fund dividend is under attack. The Voice of the Times - even the Anchorage Daily News - is perpetuating the big lie that the dividend is a government handout. Alaskans stand accused of laziness and greed, of living only for the next dividend, and of robbing the state of millions of dollars. The Times went so far as to call the dividend "senseless, nutty, madness and insanity" and "one of the worst decisions ever made."

GCLL All-Stars win again in Junior Division tourney
The first six hitters in the batting order scored two runs each as Juneau's Gastineau Channel Little League All-Stars beat the Prince of Wales All-Stars 15-2 on Sunday in the District 2 Junior Division (Age 13-14) Tournament at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park. Gary Stephens, Nathaniel Jacobsen, Joe Kohan, Chris Hinkley, Clae Baker and Nico Saldivar each scored twice for the GCLL All-Stars, with Jacobsen and Hinkley adding two RBIs apiece.

Sports in Juneau
Information on upcoming sports and outdoors events in Juneau.

Sports in Juneau
Information on upcoming sports and outdoors events in Juneau.

James scores 25 in Cavaliers' Boston summer league opener
BOSTON - Two dunks, two airballs, two 3-pointers and two blocks were among highly touted rookie LeBron James' stats. Now, he's taking two days off to attend an awards show. James scored 25 points with nine rebounds and five assists Monday night as the Cleveland Cavaliers played their first game of the Boston summer league, losing to the Celtics 87-84.

Juneau advances to finals
It took Juneau's Gastineau Channel Little League All-Stars a little bit longer to get started than the past two games. But when Monday's round-robin pool-play game was over Juneau was where it had ended its first two games, with 15 runs scored and a victory as the GCLL All-Stars knocked off Sitka 15-3 in the District 2 Junior Division (Age 13-14) Little League Baseball Tournament at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park.

Correction
In Sunday's sports section, a story about the Junior Division (Age 13-14) contained some inaccuracies about Ketchikan's victory over Sitka. Kenny Pearson's homer was a solo shot, not a three-run homer (the runners on base scored before Pearson's hit, but how they scored wasn't clearly marked in the official scorebook).

Juneau Freewheelers Informal Time Trial
Results from Friday night's informal time trial sponsored by the Juneau Freewheelers Bicycle Club. The course was 24.5 miles along the North Douglas Highway from the Kowee Creek bridge to the end of North Douglas Highway and back. Cyclists started out in 30-second intervals and raced against the clock.

Photo: Synch or swim
Juneau Aurora Knights Synchronized Swimming Team members Koko Urata, left, and Sarah Felix perform a routine during the Esynchro Age Group Championships national meet in Gainesville, Fla., last month.

Tree-eating bugs munch their way across Interior
FAIRBANKS - The mild winter and a population boom has resulted in a smorgasbord for insects that are munching their way across Alaska's Interior. Call it the attack of the five-millimeter larvae. The birch leaf miner, birch leaf roller, aspen leaf miner and spruce budworm munched through Interior tree canopies from May through early June.

Rare storm, winds up to 100 mph threaten Mt. McKinley climbers
FAIRBANKS - A rare summer storm was expected to hit the Alaska Range's highest peaks by this morning with winds up to 100 mph, perhaps creating the most severe conditions in more than a decade, the National Weather Service said Monday.

Scientists trace global warming in Interior
FAIRBANKS - A burst of hot air shot up at Dr. Glenn Juday as he looked down at the edge of a high bluff over the Tanana Flats. Blasted by the wind and sun, the bluff was covered with thin soil and sparse grass and ringed by stunted aspens. "You may be looking at the future, there," he said. "You're kind of getting an intimation of what the whole environment around here would be like if it all, generally, got hotter and drier." Behind Juday, a professor of forest ecology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, stood a small group of some of America's most distinguished scientific minds. They came to Alaska to see the effects of global warming.

Rats decimate seabird colony
ANCHORAGE - Norway rats are decimating one of the Northern Hemisphere's most spectacular seabird colonies. The rats are eating auklets nesting at the base of a volcano on Kiska Island, near the tip of the Aleutian Chain. Scientists visiting the site during the past three summers say the devastation is extreme, leading to many empty bird-nesting crannies in the jumbled lava overlooking the Bering Sea.

Stevens calls for 30-day limit on timber suits
KETCHIKAN - U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens has added wording to an appropriations bill that would limit the time groups have to take a timber sale to court in Alaska. Stevens, an Alaska Republican, last week added wording in the fiscal year 2004 federal appropriations bill for the Interior Department that would give groups 30 days to take a timber sale to court after exhausting the administrative appeal process in Alaska. The bill is making its way through Congress. It next will go to the Senate floor.

Land sale could end access to popular fishing stream
ANCHORAGE - A proposed land sale could end public access to the lower Anchor River and one of the Kenai Peninsula's most popular fishing streams. The land is being subdivided into five-acre parcels. The owners hope to win preliminary approval of their subdivision plan Monday night from the Kenai Peninsula Borough. The lots could be on the market later this summer.

Fans gawk at souped-up amphibian
ANCHORAGE - It looks like nothing else in the northern sky: a slender amphibian with a bulbous engine jutting forward from its tail and four-blade prop spinning above the cabin. New-to-Alaska readers should know that around here, the first definition of "amphibian" is not a frog but an airplane capable of taking off or landing on land or water. Dean Rickerson, a vice president at the Anchorage office of Wedbush Morgan Securities, thinks his Super Seawind is the fastest amphibian in the world.

Anchorage-based company specializes in digital forensics
ANCHORAGE - Most computer users have experienced that sinking feeling when the file they are working on somehow disappears into cyberspace. If anyone can find those missing bits and bytes, it is Charles Preston. He can also track down evidence of hackers getting into your company's computer network or employees abusing computer access, and he can resurrect deleted e-mail messages.

State Briefs
Cruise ship undergoes repairs in Seward; Strong earthquake shakes Craig; Elmendorf to begin six-day exercise; $33 million proposed for Greely airfield;

State Briefs
Greenpeace's newest ship heads to Southeast; Fairbanks cab driver stabbed to death; Mystery substance forces evacuation of Ketchikan businesses; DA drops charges against Stepovich

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